AVICENNA (Abu 'Ali al-Husain ibn 'Abdallah IBN SINA, 980-1037). Canon medicinae, in Arabic. - Kitab al-Najat, in Arabic. Rome: Typographia Medicea, 1593.
2° (330 x 220mm). Collation: [16; 24 3-106 114 (11/4 blank); 12-256; 26-526 534 (53/4 blank); 54-746 758; 76-816 828 (al-Najat)]; A-D6 E8. 521 (of 522, without blank 11/4) leaves; quires 76-82 bound at end; bifolium 61/2.5 apparently supplied from another copy. Woodcut diagram, ornamental woodcut head- and tailpieces, each plate within double type-rule border. (Title mounted and inlaid, marginal restorations throughout, repaired tear into text in 8 leaves, two with minor loss, short tears in 10 leaves just affecting rule border, some browning and light spotting, blank 53/4 defective and restored.) Modern green morocco preserving 19th-century dark blue morocco sides tooled in gilt and blind (a few scratches, side lifting on front cover). Provenance: 17-18th-century annotations in Arabic written by a medical practitioner, outlining treatments, those at the beginning giving prescriptions using foodstuffs such as citrus peel, juices, etc. -- some later marginal annotations in Arabic -- illegible ink stamp on first and last page, inscription removed from title.
EDITIO PRINCEPS of Avicenna's highly influential canon of Aristotelian and Muslim medical knowledge. Drawing on earlier work of Galen, Hippocrates and Aristotle, it contains many original contributions in the fields of anatomy, gynaecology, and contagion, among others. The second book of the Canon describes 760 drugs and was the most complete materia medica of its day. The Canon was transmitted to the West in the Latin translation of Gerard of Cremona (c. 1114-1187) and others, and continued to be a standard text until the mid 17th century. Its long-lived utility is evident in the present copy, which contains 17th/18th-century and later annotations written in Arabic by a medical practitioner. The Canon is here accompanied by the EDITIO PRINCEPS of Kitab al-Najat, an epitome of the Kitab al-Shifah, Avicenna's encyclopedia of science and philosophy which synthesizes Aristotelian tradition, neo-Platonic philosophy, and Muslim theology.
This first edition in Arabic (the first Latin edition appeared at Strassburg c.1473) was printed at the press established in 1590 by Ferdinand de' Medici at the request of Pope Gregory III. The fine Arabic types were designed by Robert Granjon. The press's first publication was the Gospels in Arabic, printed to further missionary work among the Muslims. Adams A-2322; Garrison-Morton 44; NLM/Durling 376; Osler 466; Norman 1951.